United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S BILL OF
K. MAJZOUB, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
initiated this action on February 9, 2016, pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants violated his
rights as secured by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to
the United States Constitution by using excessive force
against him, among other things. (Docket no. 1.) In an
October 11, 2017 Opinion and Order, the Court granted a
Motion to Compel filed by Plaintiff and ordered Defendants to
pay the reasonable expenses and attorney's fees that
Plaintiff incurred in bringing the Motion pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 37. (Docket no. 23.) On October 30,
2017, Plaintiff's counsel submitted a Bill of Costs.
(Docket no. 25.) With consent of the parties, this case has
been referred to the undersigned to conduct all proceedings
in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 73. (Docket no. 12.) The Court has
reviewed the Bill of Costs and is now ready to rule.
October 7, 2016, Plaintiff served a set of twenty-two
interrogatories upon Defendants Romita and Parisek and a set
of twenty-one interrogatories upon Defendant Macomb County.
(Docket no. 18 at 2-3; docket no. 18-1 at 1-17.) Defendants
Romita and Parisek objected to and did not answer
Interrogatory nos. 8-22 on the basis that they exceeded the
maximum number of interrogatories, including discrete
subparts, allowed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
33(a)(1). (Docket no. 18 at 3; docket no. 18-1 at 26-33.)
Defendant Macomb County objected to and did not answer
Interrogatory nos. 20 and 21 on the same basis. (Docket no.
18 at 3; docket no. 18-1 at 49-50.) Plaintiff then filed a
Motion to Compel, seeking a court order compelling Defendants
to answer the aforementioned interrogatories and pay the
costs and attorney's fees he incurred in filing the
Motion. (Docket no. 18.) In an October 11, 2017 Order, the
Court granted Plaintiff's Motion and ordered Defendants
to provide full and complete answers to Plaintiff's
interrogatories and pay the reasonable expenses and
attorney's fees incurred by Plaintiff as a result of
bringing the Motion. (Docket no. 23.) Pursuant to the
Court's Order, Plaintiff submitted a Bill of Costs,
through which he seeks a total of $3, 950.00 in
attorney's fees for 11 hours of work. (Docket no. 25.)
Defendants have not filed an objection.
ATTORNEY'S FEES STANDARD
37(a)(5)(A) authorizes the Court to order the payment of
“the reasonable expenses incurred [by the moving party]
in making the motion, including attorney's fees.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(5)(A). To calculate a reasonable
attorney's fees award, courts use the “lodestar
method, ” which requires the court to multiply a
reasonable hourly rate by the reasonable number of hours
worked. Ellison v. Balinski, 625 F.3d 953, 960 (6th
Cir. 2010). The Court “has broad discretion to
determine what constitutes a reasonable hourly rate for an
attorney.” Hett v. Bryant Lafayette and
Assocs., No. 10-cv-12479, 2011 WL 740460, at *2 (E.D.
Mich. Feb. 24, 2011) (Borman, J.) (quoting Wayne v. Vill.
of Sebring, 36 F.3d 517, 533 (6th Cir. 1994)). But
“[a]ccording to the law of this circuit, [the court] is
required to adjust attorney fee rates to the local market
rates for attorneys.” Swans v. City of
Lansing, 65 F.Supp.2d 625, 647 (W.D. Mich. 1998) (citing
Hadix v. Johnson, 65 F.3d 532, 536 (6th Cir. 1995)).
In addition, the court considers the following factors when
calculating the reasonableness of attorney's fees:
“(1) the professional standing and experience of the
attorney; (2) the skill, time and labor involved; (3) the
amount in question and the results achieved; (4) the
difficulty of the case; (5) the expenses incurred; and (6)
the nature and length of the professional relationship with
the client.” Miller v. Alldata Corp., 14 F.
App'x 457, 468 (6th Cir. 2001).
Supreme Court has also provided guidance:
The most useful starting point for determining the amount
of a reasonable fee is the number of hours reasonably
expended on the litigation multiplied by a reasonable
hourly rate. This calculation provides an objective basis
on which to make an initial estimate of the value of a
lawyer's services. The party seeking an award of fees
should submit evidence supporting the hours worked and
rates claimed. Where the documentation of hours is
inadequate, the district court may reduce the award
The district court also should exclude from this initial
fee calculation hours that were not “reasonably
expended.” Cases may be overstaffed, and the skill
and experience of lawyers vary widely. Counsel for the
prevailing party should make a good faith effort to exclude
from a fee request hours that are excessive, redundant, or
otherwise unnecessary, just as a lawyer in private practice
ethically is obligated to exclude such hours from his fee
Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433-34 (1983)
Reasonable Number of Hours
counsel attests that Plaintiff incurred attorney's fees
in the amount of $3, 950.00 for 11 hours of work as a result
of bringing the underlying Motion to Compel. (Docket no. 25.)
Specifically, Attorney Nicholas E. Backos indicates that he
spent 5 hours researching and drafting the Motion.
(Id. ¶ 5.) Attorney Marcel S. Benavides
indicates that he spent 2 hours drafting and reviewing the
Motion and addressing the Joint Statement of Resolved and
Unresolved Issues; 2 hours corresponding with Defendants'
counsel; and 2 hours preparing and drafting the instant Bill
of Costs. (Id. ¶¶ 5-7; docket no. 25-1.)
determining whether the time spent on a matter constitutes a
reasonable number of hours, the Court pays attention to
whether cases are overstaffed, that is, whether the hours
expended were excessive, redundant, and unnecessary. To
assure the reasonableness of the hours expended, attorneys
are to give a court sufficient detail to evaluate the fee
award. See Trustees of the Painters Union Deposit Fund v.
Interior/Exterior Specialist Co., No. 05-70110, 2011 WL
204750 at *4 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 21, 2011) (Roberts, J.)
(“Attorneys who seek fees have an obligation to
maintain billing time records that are sufficiently detailed
to enable courts to review the reasonableness of the hours
expended on the case. The documentation offered in support of
the hours charged must be of sufficient detail and probative
value to enable the court to determine with a high degree of
certainty that such ...